You think Herbert von Karajan’s 35-year reign at Berlin Philharmonic and Eugene Ormandy’s 44-year association with the Philadelphia Orchestra were impressive runs? Well, at a concert on Wednesday night, Clara Longstreth concluded her 50th season as music director of the 70-member New Amsterdam Singers.
“They haven’t tried to get rid of me yet,” Ms. Longstreth, who recently turned 80, said in a brief interview during intermission of a characteristically wide-ranging program at St. Ignatius of Antioch Episcopal Church in Manhattan.
“Singers keep coming because they share the vision,” she added. “They want to do Bach and Brahms, but they don’t mind doing at least half new music, which is really great.”
Indeed, Wednesday’s program, which included works by Arvo Pärt and Britten, also offered the premiere of Ben Moore’s “The Wave Rises,” a harmonically rich work that sets passages from Virginia Woolf’s diaries and novels. Ms. Longstreth conducted with undiminished energy and focus.
“If it’s fun for me,” she said, “it’s going to work. And it’s still really fun for me.”